Social media is here to stay as a valuable tool for human resources professionals. “The good news is that L.A. County is starting to realize how people work on social media, that it’s only going to increase, and we are finally meeting that need head‐on,” said David Sommers, Director of Public Affairs for the Chief Executive Office.

The advantages of social media go beyond recruitment. From LinkedIn and Twitter to YouTube, social media is an excellent tool to connect with and engage employees. According to a 2011 study conducted by Deloitte on Social Media in Government, social media “provides forums for network building, collaboration, and knowledge sharing.” As the County increases its use of social media, human resources (HR) professionals should lead and shape the expansion. Bringing a human resources presence to department websites is a first step.

Prior to introducing social media as part of the HR toolkit, it is best to understand the resources required. A successful campaign will require time, money, and staffing. Know your goal or purpose. Who are you targeting? What are you saying about your department? Build a compelling business reason for the social media site, share interesting and/or valuable information, be interactive, and provide frequent updates.

Determine what social media you will add to your toolkit. You may wish to include a mixture of media. LinkedIn is the largest professional social networking site with 200 million members; 64% of the members are outside the United States. LinkedIn allows you to find passive candidates like never before. Facebook has more than 1 billion users; 169 million of which are in the U.S. Twitter has 600 million users, with 1.6 billion searches daily. Over 200 million will have Smartphones or tablets by 2015, which is 65% of the U.S. population.

Recently, the Department of Human Resources (DHR) successfully incorporated the use of social media networking in its recruitment campaign for the Countywide Management Fellows (CMF) program. The CMF program manager worked with the DHR Departmental Chief Information Officer staff to create a Facebook page before CMF launched. Visitors to the Facebook page spontaneously created their own community, getting the word out to others who were unaware of the program. These individuals developed their own network, filling one another in on the application process, and assisting each other with feedback. The Facebook page currently has 313 “likes” and 7,779 who have viewed the posts.

In the near future, look for new DHR Policies, Procedures and Guidelines regarding social media applications and their use in recruiting, background checks, and preventing abuse.


Los Angeles County


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